When the traditional banking system had not yet had time to digest the imminence of cryptocurrencies in shifting power structures around, the ever-prolific crypto world was already en route to developing DeFi ecosystems. It didn’t stop there—it went on to instigate yield farming tools, liquidity mining pools, and one of the latest additions—NFTs.
We are sure that you have already heard of NFTs—probably too much, probably in a very vague, probably in a non-fungible way, right? If the latter didn’t make sense, don’t worry, we will be demystifying NFTs in this article.
An NFT is defined by a tokenID—a unique token with a unique number and specific information about the asset (metadata).
The best way to understand how such numbers and characters claim the unique identity and properties of NFTs is by examining the code. Even if you know absolutely nothing about programming, you just need to look at it and realize that blockchain codes are simpler than what you can imagine.
Below is a simplified NFT asset. Don’t feel intimidated by the syntax. Just pay attention to what you can read:
And here’s the data that defines it.
The code above, in other words, shows how an NFT contract is created. But not every crypto asset is an NFT. After all, what does non-fungibility mean? The answer is simple. Non-fungibility points at the capacity of an asset to be tokenized and divided into several parts and possibly of different sizes.
Therefore, if the value of a part is proportional to its size, then the asset is fungible. If it isn’t as you break the asset into pieces, it becomes less valuable than the original—it is non-fungible. Therefore, basically anything (even legal contracts and obligations) is somewhat definable as an NFT.
Metadata in NFTs
The code assigns an owner through a cryptographic key (public key) connected to a wallet. The code contains a link that pertains to the digital asset itself and its properties that are defined in the asset’s metadata. These are NFTs metadata standards, namely, ERC721 and ERC1155.
NFTs are defined by ERC721, a token that is non-fungible—or non-divisible, if you prefer. With this standard, you can only define NFTs like the one in the example above. The full code will specify the ERC721 standard, but we removed it to simplify the reading. That means that some other code reading the NFT properties can make no relation with the data from other NFTs. This other contract/code may read the metadata and act accordingly, but it won’t be affected by attributes other than those included in the metadata.
NFT architecture has been expanded with the ERC1155 NFT metadata standard where classes are added to extend NFT uses with metadata. Classes are basically nested properties that can be assigned to assets or asset families.
Let’s give an example. Imagine you have a character in an online game that you get to equip with full gear—helmet, armor, sword, etc. Both character and additional gears can have properties that may be either related or inherited depending on the class they belong to (the helmet class, for instance). As you see in the contract, it would be a parented metadata to the metadata of an NFT contract.
NFT code is quite easy to read, and it is, in essence, a record linking a bunch of (meta)data in the same item. Think of metadata simply as a feature that can be a measuring attribute, a timeframe, the price of another asset—basically any property defining an asset.
Mastering NFTs the Pillarista Way
Now that you understand the code side of things, let’s see how Pillar provides the best tools to manage your NFT contracts.
With Pillar’s WalletConnect integration, you can access DeFi services (including NFT management) with your app. The WalletConnect feature provides fast and seamless cross-chain connections at lower fees. Pillar’s DeFi wallet provides the most convenient tools to access different services simultaneously and to manage and optimize the advantages of NFTs through central access via the Pillar wallet to the NFT collection.
Our NFT manager is the ultimate tool to demystify NFTs and the complexities around managing them with our user-friendly interface. Here’s how it all works.
First, link your Pillar wallet to your preferred NFT market through the WalletConnect integration:
Then validate the NFTs you own with the keys produced with your wallet.
As you can see, the process is very straightforward.
NFTs may seem intimidating—at first. The hype and speculation around them, coupled with fast developments, have made clear that NFT contracts are a product to stay and that their market will grow both in volume and use cases. WalletConnect is speeding NFT development by enabling cross-portfolio management, cross-chain connections, and in-app fiat purchase.
Pillar’s multichain wallet is certainly one of the best tools any NFT holder could wish for as it facilitates access to all opportunities and possibilities that NFTs unlock in the DeFi ecosystem. You saw it—there is nothing arcane about NFT contracts.
And for those still digesting the novelty of the cryptoverse, the forecast does not point to it ceasing to grow any time soon.
Download your Pillar wallet now and impress your friends by showing off your NFT collection.